Posted on October 19, 2019

The University of Calgary in Qatar and Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar recently co-hosted the Sixth Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning at Doha’s Rotana City Centre Hotel.

Organized around the theme of “Engaging Students through Experiential Learning”, this year’s symposium had over 50 presenters and 130 participants sharing information on different topics including simulation, educational technology, service learning, curriculum, inter-professional education, students as partners, and active learning. Presenters and attendees came from higher education institutions and organizations such as Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), the University of Calgary (Canada), Sidra Medicine, and Hamad Medical Corporation.

The symposium was honoured to welcome its keynote speaker from Canada, Dr. Jennifer Lock, Professor and Vice Dean, Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. “The symposium provided a great opportunity for practitioners and medical health educators to engage in rich conversation about the work of teaching and learning,” said Dr. Lock. “Through the sessions, participants learned of various innovative teaching practices and current research. The symposium was an excellent forum for learning.”

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Presentations focused on how students become engaged in learning when learning is meaningful and relevant to their lives and how important it is for educators to foster student engagement in the health sciences classroom. According to Dr. Frances Kalu, Teaching and Learning Specialist at the University of Calgary in Qatar and co-chair of the symposium, the intent of the event was to create a space for presenters and attendees to engage in discussions on how to engage our students in the classroom through experiential learning. “It turned out to be a wonderful day with an amazing keynote speech, conversation cafes, concurrent sessions and a student panel. Knowledge was co-created and networks created,” Dr. Kalu remarked.

Dr. Mohamud Verjee, Assistant Dean of Medical Student Affairs, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Weil Cornell Medicine – Qatar, and co-chair of the symposium, reported that the collaboration between nursing and medical professions yielded much food for thought at this event. “Innovative disruption may be a key, by moving forward with learning, to attain better healthcare delivery," said Dr. Verjee.